Family Friendly Summertime Activities

When my kids were little they were happy to spend summer days in the backyard blowing bubbles or having a picnic in the park. While these activities are still a lot of fun, it is getting increasingly difficult to entertain my three kids who are eight, six, and two. The great part about the kids getting older is that we can now explore family activities that are tons of fun for kids and adults.

I have put together our favorite summertime activities in and around Madison that are sure to make lasting memories for you and your family!

Bike Rides: Madison is an amazing place to bike with your family. There is no shortage of trails to enjoy and beautiful sights to see. With so many bike friendly areas, consider biking to popular destinations such as a park or the zoo. To plan your bike trip or for more information on biking in Madison, visit If you are in need of bike safety equipment for your children, the Kohl’s Safety Center in the UW-Children’s Hospital is a great resource for advice and low-cost helmets.

Canoe and Kayak Rental: If you have ever wanted to explore Madison lakes but took it off the list due to the lack of a boat, there is a solution! Canoe and kayak rentals are available from Wingra Boats and Brittingham boats. Additional information can be found on the City of Madison website.

Drive-In Movie: My husband and I have been going to the drive-in since before we had kids. Located in Jefferson, just a short drive outside of Madison, the Highway 18 Outdoor Theater is a place my boys look forward to every year. We put the kids in their pajamas and bring along lots of pillows and blankets. We get there early and stock up on snacks at the concession stand (along with the usual popcorn and candy, they also have a full grill, which includes veggie burgers!) then we lay in the back of our van to enjoy the show.

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Mallards Game: Taking in a Madison Mallards baseball game is a must-do summertime activity. The atmosphere and music alone are entertainment for my kids. The 2014 schedule includes an 80’s night, superhero night, and karate night. Fun for the entire family!


Vitense Golfland: Vitense Golfland offers water wars, batting cages, climbing wall, remote control boats, an arcade, and of course, mini golf.

Dr. Evermor’s Sculpture Park: Whenever we travel to see my parents we pass by Dr. Evermor’s Sculpture Park and are intrigued by the large metal sculptures out front. Last summer we finally stopped to look around and what we found was amazing! Fantastic structures welded out of recycled materials made to look like everything from musical instruments to animals. Price is free and it is definitely worth the short drive.

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Cave of the Mounds: Along with an amazing cave to tour, you can enjoy hiking, biking, and gardens at Cave of the Mounds. My six-year-old son loves rocks and has found some great finds in the museum rock shop. Tours are given daily.

UW-Madison Geology Museum: Use a rainy day to explore the UW-Madison Geology Museum. More rocks and minerals for my six-year-old to adore plus meteorites and real dinosaur bones. There is also a museum storytime for preschool-aged children, see website for further details.

What summertime activities does your family enjoy?

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One Response to Family Friendly Summertime Activities

  1. Kristin July 14, 2014 at 9:19 pm #

    Thanks for this! I kept meaning to look up Mallard’s games. Now I’ve bought tickets!

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